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GRCC library celebrates Banned Books Week

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The Grand Rapids Community College library staff is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week by circulating a collection staff and student’s favorite challenged books.

Banned Books Week was created by the American Library Association to celebrate the right to read given by the First Amendment.

The GRCC library is spreading the word through its blogFacebookPinterest and Tumblr pages.

Margaret Bald, co-author of “120 Banned Books: Censorship Histories of World Literature,” is one who believes banning books is pointless.

“When you look back over centuries at censorship and see the incredible range of books and authors whose works were suppressed, you can only be struck by how absurdly ineffective and useless it has been in the long run,” Bald said.

A lot of America’s well-known literature–The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, Catch-22, Uncle Tom’s Cabin–have been censored at one time.  Here is a list of some banned classic and contemporary novels and the reasons they are challenged:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

Banned Books Week goes from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.

To participate, email Lisa Rabey at lrabey@grcc.edu with the title and author of your favorite banned book and a statement about why it’s your favorite.

For a full list of the challenged books, click here.